For sports fans of a certain age, “The Wide World of Sports” was as institutional as it got.
For fans of that legendary show, which ended its run in 1998, it’s impossible not to hear Jim McKay’s iconic line when thinking of the show’s introduction.
“Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport … the thrill of victory … and the agony of defeat … the human drama of athletic competition …This is ABC’s ‘Wide World of Sports!'”
Had “The Wide World of Sports” still existed today, the following viral clip of a sports mom would have unequivocally been classified under “agony of defeat”:
Mom CRUSHED glasses after son, Spencer Lee, lost NCAA Wrestling Championships semifinals in historic upset 😳
It would’ve been his fourth straight title pic.twitter.com/3SdhWA2pr3
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 18, 2023
That’s the mother of the veritable University of Iowa wrestling legend Spencer Lee, who suffered a stunning upset loss on Friday in a semifinals match for the NCAA national championships, crushing her glasses like a used up piece of tin foil.
Lee was in the midst of a nation-best 58-match winning streak and vying for a fourth straight national title (a feat accomplished by only four wrestlers in history) when his streak — and hopes for that historic fourth title — went up in smoke.
(It’s important to note that on Saturday, Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis became the fifth person to win four wrestling titles.)
But while Lee is the one who actually got his shoulders pinned to the mat (with just one second left in the third period, no less), it was his mother’s visceral reaction that went viral.
Some, like former NFL tight end Delanie Walker, blasted the mother for poor sportsmanship:
Bad sportsmanship 💯 wow but the announcers act like that’s cool
— Delanie Walker (@delaniewalker82) March 19, 2023
Others criticized the mother for embarrassing her son (and ESPN for airing it):
If I looked up and saw my mom acting like this, after just losing – I’d be so embarrassed. Win & lose with grace
— Queen City Spurs (@QueenCitySpurs) March 18, 2023
Not a good look for @espn and the mom.
— Andy Morales (@AndyMorales8) March 18, 2023
Others, meanwhile, were more understanding of the mother’s response, noting that it was a devastating and abrupt end to years of support:
People criticizing her don’t understand the sport and the feelings that come with family wrestling.
How many years she has spent supporting and cheering for her son.
Very heartbreaking and devastating
To come just short of a 4x national champion
— GETBOPTKID.TEZ (@GETBOPTKID) March 18, 2023
Indeed, while vision insurance claim specialists may recoil at the sight of Lee’s mother’s reaction, it’s a far, far cry from storming the mat or some other disturbing behavior you’d associate with overbearing sports parents.
And to be clear, there should be no doubt that Lee’s mother has been invested and supportive of her son’s incredible career for years now.
There’s another, far less viral video of the mother making the rounds on social media, and it’s positively heartwarming if you’ve ever wrestled before:
Instead of sharing that other video of Spencer Lee’s mom, might I suggest this one pic.twitter.com/AVa92tayyG
— Slater (@SlaterKinnick_) March 18, 2023
That’s just some nice, wholesome wrestling family fun… until the mom flies in with an arm bar.
Sorry haters. That’s a good mom.
Just not to her glasses.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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